Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson responded to recent conjecture from unnamed league executives after practice on Tuesday, telling media “I’m going to keep playing football. We’re gonna see, but I strongly doubt it.”
Despite a positive COVID test holding Jackson out for the first two weeks of training camp, Jackson and the Ravens are confident that the 2019 MVP will continue to be one of the most dynamic and productive quarterbacks in the NFL this season.
NFL analyst Jeremy Fowler recently made waves on ESPN’s “Get Up” morning show when he argued that Jackson would be under a lot of pressure in 2021. His comments did not go unnoticed by social media, with fans, former players and analysts all voicing their disagreement.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark, who co-hosted the segment with Fowler, said it all with his live reaction.
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Jackson Excited to Get Back on the Field
The former Heisman Trophy winner has yet to play this preseason, but he’s clearly itching to get back to electrifying fans with his unique combination of passing and rushing skills.
Jackson said he wants to play in Saturday’s preseason matchup against the Washington Football Team, but acknowledged that the decision would be left up to head coach John Harbaugh.
Baltimore did waive quarterback Kenji Bahar on Tuesday, leaving Jackson and backup Tyler Huntley as the only healthy quarterbacks on the roster, with Trace McSorley sidelined with a back injury. That move could mean that Jackson will play a few series against Washington, but Huntley did play the entire game against the Carolina Panthers on August 21, so Jackson could still sit out.
Regardless of his status for Saturday, the former Louisville Cardinal is confident that the passing game will be firing on all cylinders once the regular season rolls around. Even though top receivers Sammy Watkins, Rashod Bateman and Marquise Brown have all missed time, Jackson thinks he and his targets will pick up right where they left off.
If he does sit on Saturday, he’ll spend the game cheering on Huntley from the sideline,
Jackson spoke highly of his understudy’s preseason play, saying,”the cat is out of the bag,” in reference to Huntley’s playmaking ability.
Jackson and Huntley previously faced off as high schoolers in Florida, Jackson at Boynton Beach Community High School and Huntley at Hallandale High School.
“I was getting ticked off last time we played him,” said Jackson with a chuckle, adding that Huntley was “driving the ball down the field and doing spectacular things like he’s doing now, so I’m used to it.”
Ronnie Stanley Expects to Be ‘Full Go’ by Week 1 Opener
All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley completed his first full practice on Tuesday after gradually ramping up his participation following his season-ending ankle injury last year.
“I feel blessed to be back out with my brothers,” said the Notre Dame product, who used meditation to help him cope with his injury and work through his recovery.
“I definitely just formed a new appreciation for just being able to get another chance to play at a high level again,” he told media after Tuesday’s practice.
Stanley, a 2016 first-round draft pick, told media that he likes what he sees from his fellow offensive linemen, but still doesn’t know who will be playing left guard next to him.
Stanley was among the best tackles in the NFL before he suffered a fractured and dislocated ankle against the Pittsburgh Steelers last November. He earned All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl selection after a stellar 2019 season during which he allowed just six pressures and zero sacks in 443 pass-blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus.
Stanley knows just how good he was before his injury, and is dedicated to reaching those same heights.
“That’s a big thing for me – is not just coming back to football, but coming back at an elite level and playing to the level that I know I can play at,” said the sixth-year tackle.